Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-12 08:07:33


Biomedical Science

Honors Course

Biology Honors Research Project

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2023


Even though poor glycemic control puts diabetics at risk for a variety of disease complications, there are many barriers to achieving adequate blood glucose regulation. Diabetic cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN) is a progressive autonomic denervation of the cardiovascular system resulting from chronic hyperglycemia and characterized by orthostatic hypertension, sinus tachycardia, low heart rate variability, and fatal arrhythmias. Available CAN therapeutics are limited to symptom alleviation, and do not prevent or reverse cardiac nerve damage. Limited evidence from clinical trials suggests the antioxidant Alpha Lipoid Acid (ALA) prevents CAN progression (Lee et al., 2017; Serhiyenko et al., 2020; Tankova, Koev & Dakovska, 2004; Ziegler et al., 1997). This study tested the effect of ALA in the preclinical setting using a zebrafish model with diet induced hyperglycemia. Zebrafish were divided into four groups: balanced diet, high carbohydrate diet, balanced diet with ALA tank water, or high carbohydrate diet with ALA tank water. Noninvasive techniques were used to quantify symptoms of hyperglycemia and cardiac autonomic neuropathy. Hyperglycemic behaviors were analyzed using novel tank diving tests while light cardiography was done to measure heart rate and heart rate variability. The results indicate that a six-week high carbohydrate diet in zebrafish inhibits weight gain and promotes bradycardia under anesthesia. Additionally, ALA treatment may reduce anxious behavior during novel tank diving.

Research Sponsor

Brian Bagatto

First Reader

Katherine Weiss

Second Reader

Richard Londraville

Honors Faculty Advisor

Brian Bagatto

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information


Scott Honors signature page.pdf (54 kB)
Signature Page



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